WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif.–About 30,000 people, including celebrities and elected officials, raised almost $2.9 million for research and AIDS patient assistance at the AIDS Walk Los Angeles.

A big crowd turned out in drizzly, gray skies at West Hollywood Park to raise funds to help treat and care for people living with AIDS/HIV. Since 1985, the event has raised about $66 million for AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA), one of the largest nonprofit AIDS service organizations in the country.

“We are deeply grateful to our 30,000 participants for raising $2,878,711 for L.A. County’s fight against AIDS,” said organizer Craig R. Miller, the event’s founder and producer.

“Over 26 years, we have never lost sight of our prime objective: to create an event unparalleled in its ability to inspire tens of thousands to take action,” he said.

Schoolchildren and celebrities were among those marching, as were some people who marched in the first AIDS Walk in 1986.

One of the pioneers recalled getting booed at by bystanders when a group of 4,000 people, most of them gay activists, marched down West Hollywood sidewalks at the first AIDS Walk.